When I was in my early twenties, I sought to cultivate an aura of intellectual and cultural sophistication. One of the ways I did this, probably unsuccessfully, was to read French existential philosophy and literature. There was something impressive about the term existentialism and I liberally laced my conversation with this word and its adjective existential. One thinker and writer who to his chagrin was labelled an existentialist, Albert Camus, became my favourite philosopher, partly because of his novella, L’Étranger (The Outsider). I was fascinated by the anti-hero, Mersault, who is an outsider from his society because of his emotional detachment. This stems from his view that the universe exists for no reason, he exists for no reason also and so there is no need to attach any particular value to anyone or anything. He therefore seeks a life of uncomplicated pleasures. He does not care that his girlfriend Marie loves him. He shows no emotion when his mother dies and when he shoots a man for wounding his friend Raymond with a knife, he does so with no particular emotion. It is simply an act of revenge that must happen.